Jakov Jakoulov was born in Moscow (b. 1958), where he studied at the Moscow Conservatory and the Gnesin Musical Academy. He gained considerable experience as both performer and composer while in Russia; in fact, composing music for over 20 theatrical and television productions for the National Theater and Television of the USSR, Swedish Theater “Lilla,” MosFilm, and numerous others. He also served as pianist for the Moscow State Philharmonic and Finnish Broadcasting Corporation. In 1988, Jakoulov left Moscow to begin work in Munich, and elsewhere throughout Europe. Through contacts made with the Jerusalem Symphony, which has also performed his works, he made his way to the United States, and for a short time taught at Bellarmine College in Louisville, Kentucky. He soon moved to Boston, where he completed the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree at Boston University, where his principal teachers were Lukas Foss and Theodore Antoniou. His works have been performed by such diverse groups as the Israeli Broadcasting Commission, Armenian State Opera and Ballet Theater (Yerevan), WGBH Public Radio (on numerous occasions), Alea 3, Kammerspiele Theater and Free Center of Modern Music (Munich), the Kudsot-Yotser Art Festival (Jerusalem), Dudley House Music Series at Harvard University, and Trillium (Boston).
Violinist Michael Zaretsy has also recorded a number of Jakoulov’s works. As a pianist Jakoulov has performed widely and in various media as solo performer, ballet rehearsal pianist, church organist, and is a brilliant performer of Scriabin as well as new music/improvisational pianist, heard in his spare time at the St. Petersburg Café (in Brookline, not St. Petersburg!). He is a member of the faculty at the Community Music Center of Boston, and recently received a commission from World-Wide Concurrent Premieres and the Community Music Center of Boston to write a work for ‘Piano Class,’ based on “The Snow Queen,” which was premiered world-wide by multiple pianists in 25 locations. His new CD, “Emma’s Song,” based on classical improvisations of well-known children’s songs, is available on Home Farm Productions.